07/28/13 Vicente Fox

Vicente Fox, former Pres of Mexico blasts drug war, FOX report on Tex Republicans seek end to drug war, Texas judge blasts drug war, Doug McVay report on prisons, DEA MJ bust in Wash state, DTN Editorial

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Guest: 
Vicente Fox
Organization: 
President of Mexico
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Transcript

Century of Lies / July 28, 2013

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DEAN BECKER: The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.

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DEAN BECKER: Holy sumpin’ …the end of drug war draws ever closer. This week is no different. Let’s get to it.

First up, courtesy High Times magazine, this is former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox.

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VICENTE FOX: The War on Drugs started by President Nixon 40 years ago has been a total failure as well as the policy and the strategy followed by President Calderon in Mexico has also been a total failure. There’s no reduction in trying rates, no reduction on the killings and the death, no reduction on consumption and the problem gets worse and worse each time.

Of course I watch the Portugal phenomena which has been great – total legalization and total good results. The end result is 25% reduction in consumption. Of course it has now crime and illegality and now it is working, I would say, splendid. Same case Holland.

But then I came to the states. I’ve been watching what is going on here. I visited the state of Washington, the city of Seattle and participated learning about the whole change since the production of the plant, the transformation, the distribution and selling and the medical use and, today, the responsible use by adults. There I think we have something that is important for Mexico. I hope that it progresses and Mexico opens the door to get out of the trap we are in violence, crime and violations of human rights, violations of due process of justice.

These ideas, I’m sure, will be accepted by public opinion and will influence decision makers. I’ve been watching as 80,000 kids have been killed in Mexico during the past 6 years – kids that were not even 15 or 25-year-olds. Because of lack of opportunities they join the cartels, they join crime.

We must make sure that these kids from now on will live in a more peaceful world and have opportunities they were denied. Every day there’s an additional 40 kids being killed so this has to be stopped. We need to get out of the idea that prohibition works and that violence defeats violence and enforcement of the law as the only strategy. That’s totally mistaken. We want to bring in a new way, a new strategy for doing things.

The money the cartels are raising here in the United States, being the largest consumer market in the world that deals over 50 billion U.S. dollars every year, this money is brought back to Mexico to bribe the government officials, to hire these kids, to buy the guns and ammunition they are using on this violent war that we have down there.

Certainly we have an effect and an impact and the clear concept and conviction that moving this industry or this business from criminals to business men, from no taxes being paid to government collecting huge amount will do the work. But, the most important thing that has to happen is that all those resources and money have to be invested in education, information and prevention. At the same time having citizens informed about what this is all about they will take the responsible decisions that they are not taking today.

I don’t think that governments have the capacity to stop this. It is going to be stopped by people, by citizens, by the young kids, by everybody who will become more responsible in taking care of your own body and your own health.

My highest priority is to stop violence in Mexico and this is one clear way to accomplish that in the process of time. Number 2 is we are linked, totally linked through NAFTA – the three of us nations in North America. This means that we cannot make separate, individual decisions. What’s going on here in the United States in relation to legalization has a strong impact in Mexico, has a very strong impact at the border itself.

By the same token if we move ahead in Mexico and we speed up the process it will have a very strong impact also on the states like California.

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DEAN BECKER: I hate to interrupt but I want to remind you you are listening to the Century of Lies show on Pacifica Radio and the Drug Truth Network. We are listening to the thoughts of Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico.

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VICENTE FOX: Today many more people die from excessive drinking of alcohol or excessive smoking or excess in having bad eating habits. Diabetes, obesity is killing much more people than drugs. Same thing with alcohol.

Also there are new findings not only of the positive use of cannabis to temper pain, reduce stress on those who have illness – especially those with terminal problems – its proven to be very helpful. We see in Mexico, today, that even being forbidden, we see that sick people in the hospital request either heroin or cocaine or cannabis. It’s a proven method for medical use.

Plus the fact that - and this will be part of the panelists participation in Mexico – the treatment of cancer with cannabis. We want them to start evaluating, thinking, analyzing and not just saying no because President Obama says no or President Nieto says no.

I think that in this freedom that we exercise as human beings we must have the capacity to deal with this problem. Right now the situation is totally of abstinence, no research, no nothing – just a culture of prohibition. This is one thing that I have this cause with the groups and we’re going to try to bring a very sophisticated research process that will cost several millions of dollars to really come up with true statements, to really come up with true findings. It might take a couple of years but I think it is very important to do it.

How many good products we have in Mexico in Ayahusaca, in peyote or many other herbs and plants that are used by the indigenous community with the wisdom they have for health purposes and for curative purposes. I’m sure this plant has those advantages. I’m not a user, of course, I won’t be a user. I simply respect anybody that makes decisions that have to do with him but not affecting third parties. I always respect that and I do it in this case. I do it in the case of the gay community, in the case of marriage between persons of the same sex. I’m not in agreement with that but I fully respect that.

We’re not moving from prohibition to absolute freedom and everybody goes crazy. That doesn’t happen. We’re moving from prohibition to regulation. Regulation is a key issue and that’s very important that what is being discussed right now in Washington State by the alcohol and the cigarette agencies is that regulation which should be better than the one they have for alcohol or the one they have for cigarettes.

Where you can smoke and where you cannot. Where you have marijuana and when you cannot. If you are going to drive you should not have it. If you don’t have the age to be able to do this responsibly don’t do it. Regulation is a key factor and regulation is very different to prohibition in ethical or moral terms and this is an issue that we have not discussed yet but let me tell you that not only God created us free but the founding fathers of this nation they were absolutely committed to freedom at the same time that governments do not have the right to intervene in my conscious, to intervene in my behavior, to intervene in my decision unless I affect a third party – then they state and governments have the right to intervene but if not it shouldn’t happen.

Again, ethical and moral reasons to sustain the moving out of prohibition and start working down the road of information, regulation.

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DEAN BECKER: I got to interrupt again. This is Dean Becker, your host on the Century of Lies. I don’t know if he’s a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition but this is a former president of a major nation sounding very much like he belongs to LEAP. We continue.

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VICENTE FOX: You have a guy like Steve Jobs. For 10 years he used cannabis for 10 years. He had LSD and he’s the Einstein of the 21s t century – one of the most brilliant men. He was able to administrate himself, keep his mind brilliant and do great things in the world.

The whole thing has to do with me – me as a human being. What is good for me. What I can resist. What I can assimilate. What I can digest without harming myself and this is where all the money that is going to be raised in Washington, in Denver, in Colorado, in Mexico in the future all the money raised instead of being handed to the criminals will now be in the hands of the state.

Prohibition was started here and pretty soon it was found out that prohibition didn’t work. In Chicago when the war and the violence decided finally to eliminate prohibition and everything started working much better.

The key issue is to separate the crime, violence issues from the health issues and then you can handle the problem. Prohibition started in the Garden of Eden as we Catholics believe with the forbidden apple – the prohibited apple. It didn’t work because God created us free even to go against him and to sin against him – we’re free to do that.

That’s a key issue on the creation for all human beings. If we’re free we can make free, responsible decisions. That prohibited apple would have been more convincing if somebody would have told them that apple has worms so watch out. Don’t eat it because it has worms. I’m sure they would not have eaten the apple but instead we say this is prohibited – immediately you have the temptation to do so.

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DEAN BECKER: Well, I’m stoked. Again, that was former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox in an interview he conducted with High Times. You heard his indignation, his acknowledgment of the horror we inflict on ourselves worldwide via this policy.

Yep, Vicente Fox gets it and so do Young Republicans in the Houston area. The following comes to us courtesy of Channel 26 in Houston, Fox TV.

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MELINDA SPAULDING: If the War on Drugs has failed, is legalization the next logical step? It's an old question. But you may be surprised to learn who's asking it, these days.

Ned Hibberd is live in the newsroom.

NED HIBBERD: Here’s the thing, Melinda, 10 or 20 years ago drug legalization forums were being sponsored by left-leaning groups. That’s not necessarily the case anymore.

[video of someone lighting water pipe]

NED HIBBERD: If marijuana, cannabis were taxed and regulated like alcohol would that reduce the collateral damage of the drug war? Richard Lee thinks so.

RICHARD LEE: We ended prohibition not because we said alcohol is great for everybody to use. We said that it’s creating all this crime. It’s creating Al Capone. It’s creating more problems than it’s solving.

NED HIBBERD: As a possible solution drug legalization is up for debate but the debate itself has shifted. In a forum from inside this Washington Avenue resturaunt it is the Houston Young Republicans asking the question.

JOHN GRIFFING: And this event was the result of several members coming forward and saying, “You know what?! This something we need to finally examine and address as a party.”

NED HIBBERD: “Tough on crime” has been a Republican mantra for 25 years but some in the GOP are now calling for a more nuanced approach.

JOHN GRIFFING: We’ve got George H.W. Bush who was the gentleman who came forward and said, “Let’s have a War on Drugs. Let’s end this problem. Let’s approach it in a military context.”

That hasn’t worked out so well.

NED HIBBERD: But would legalizing marijuana, cocaine or even heroin be a better strategy? Dr. Kevin Sabet envisions the results.

KEVIN SABET: If marijuana that would be advertised as the way tobacco used to be advertised or cocaine being pushed as a lobby in Washington like we have the liquor lobby I don’t think that’s good for America.

NED HIBBERD: Those drugs are illegal under federal law but some states see things differently. Both Washington and Colorado have voted to legalize, regulate and tax pot and that carries weight in a political party that values states’ rights.

RICHARD LEE: This should be a conservative issue. Republicans are in favor of more personal responsibility and less government and that’s what ending cannabis prohibition is all about.

NED HIBBERD: Richard Lee helped bankroll California’s Proposition 19 which would have made cannabis legal there. The referendum failed by 8 points in 2010 but Lee predicts more states will follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington. Dr. Sabet does not really see it that way.

KEVIN SABET: We’re not really seeing that as a movement around the country even if the Houston Young Republicans are having a forum on this issue.

NED HIBBERD: In fact, some here in Houston are already looking beyond legalization. This Fall in a new upper level course at the South Texas College of Law students will try their hand at drafting legislation regulating how marijuana might be cultivated, sold and taxed.

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DEAN BECKER: Funny thing is they wouldn’t allow Fox into the Young Republicans meeting but they would allow me in. Here’s a segment from my video that I captured with these Young Republicans.

This is a sitting Texas judge, John Delaney, speaking to the gathering. He’s also a member of LEAP.

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JOHN DELANEY: I went to Argentina as a leader of a group of people. I talked to a federal judge there and he said, “You know this thing that you are talking about is very interesting because right now our Supreme Court of Argentina is trying to decide whether they’re going to overturn our laws prohibiting drug possession because of a provision in our national constitution that guarantees each person certain personal freedoms.”

I said, “Hmm, interesting thought.” And a few months later they did.

All over the world countries are making significant changes in drug policy. A lot of us are putting our shoulder to the wheel going around talking to other clubs, church groups – it’s a part of our world now.

When I talk to a Rotary club or some other group I say, “Let’s have a little poll.”

I’ll do the poll right here and now. You’re the respondents.

Question number 1: How many of you think we are presently winning the War on Drugs?

Don’t be shy – let me see your hands.

That’s worrisome. We’re losing the war.

Next question, a little more complicated, think about it…every word means something. Continuing on the present course, 10 years out - how many of you believe we will have begun to win the War on Drugs?

For those of you who are a little shy about looking around the room – I affirm there are no hands up.

So, what does that tell you if you’re a policy maker, if you’re a state representative or a state senator in Austin, Texas? If your people…and you are not unique – this is the same response I get everywhere. I don’t care what the age demographic is…60/70, white-haired – they all answer just like you did.

We are not winning. We are losing and it’s not going to change. So if all of Texans believe that way what is wrong with the legislator? Where is their moral courage? Where is their courage? Where is their guts?

Well, who knows?

Some of you in this room are running for elective office. Somebody said at one time you can either be courageous or you can run for office.

I just made that up but it sounded good.

We are the land of the free and the home of the brave…nope, not so fast. We have 5% of the world’s population and we have 25% of the world’s prisoners. What’s wrong with that?

Our incarceration rate here in the United States is 760 people per 100,000. Just remember the 760. By comparison …Japan = 63, Germany = 90, France = 96, South Korea = 97, Great Britain = 153.

How about some societies that are more like us? Mexico = 208, Brazil = 292…land of the free and the brave? 760. We are the number one imprisoner of human beings in the world.

Russia isn’t close. China isn’t close. We are it.

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DEAN BECKER: Again, that was sitting Texas judge, John Delaney, speaking to the Houston Young Republicans gathering. I want to tell you nobody left early. I heard people calling, making excuses so they could stay for the Q&A. It was a ruckus gathering. I thank the Drug Policy Forum of Texas as well for their support for getting me in to this venue. I guess the fact that I’m aligned with the Baker Institute didn’t hurt at all.

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DOUG McVAY: The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics has issued a new report titled Prisoners in 2012 ? Advance Counts, which provides current counts of inmates held in federal and state prisons, along with some demographic and offense data.

According to the BJS, at yearend 2012 prisons held a total of 1,571,013 prisoners ? 217,815 prisoners were in federal prisons and 1,353,198 prisoners were in state prisons. That's a total drop of 27,770 from the year before, though that number is misleading because while the state prison population dropped by 29,223 from 2011 to 2012, the federal prison population rose by 1,453.

I must clarify: this report only deals with prisoners, that is, people held or sentenced to incarceration in state or federal prisons. It does not include jail inmates. Jails typically hold lower-level offenders who have been given shorter sentences, usually less than one year though possibly up to two years. That's important, because one way that states reduce their prison population ? say, for example, because they're under a court order to do so ? is by relying more heavily on county and city jails.

Back to the report. Several states saw decreases in their prison population, and one of the biggest reasons for this drop in state prisoners is California. According to the BJS, quote, ?In 2012, the prison population declined in 28 states, and 9 states reported decreases of more than 1,000 inmates. California observed the largest decline and accounted for more than half of the drop in the overall US prison population, with about 10 percent (15,035) fewer inmates at yearend 2012 than in 2011.? End quote.

California's prison system has been under a federal court order to reduce its prison population for the past few years. That order was even affirmed by the US Supreme Court in 2011. California's governor, Jerry Brown, has recently petitioned the Court to release the state from the order. According to the LA Times on July 24, quote ?the state's lawyers said most of the prisoners who are nonviolent offenders are being kept in county facilities. Most of those who would be released now are classified as moderate- to high-risk inmates, the state said.? End quote.

How successful has California been? Well, at the end of 2010, that state's prisons held a total of 162,164 sentenced offenders. Of those, 58.8 percent were sentenced for violent offenses, 18.9 percent were convicted of property offenses, and 15 percent were drug offenders. At the end of 2012 California's prisons held 132,885 offenders, of whom 69.8 percent were sentenced for violent offenses, 14.5 percent were convicted of property offenses, and 9.1 percent were drug offenders. No data were provided regarding the inmates who are now residing in overcrowded county jails.

There are always delays and lags in reporting, so while this gives us the prisoner numbers for 2012, the feds only have complete state prisoner offense data as of the end of 2011. The report shows that at yearend 2011, states held 1,341,804 sentenced prisoners of whom 16.8 percent were drug offenders, 18.3 percent were property offenders, and 53 percent were violent offenders.

This report doesn't provide figures for the federal system however last year's full Prisoners report showed that of the 197,050 sentenced prisoners under Federal jurisdiction in 2011, 94,600 ? or 48 percent of the total were serving time for drug offenses.

You'll soon find these data and links to the source publication in the Prisoners section at Drug War Facts dot org. For the Drug Truth Network, this is Doug McVay with Common Sense for Drug Policy and Drug War Facts.

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REPORTER: …including Bay Side clubs in Olympia were raided by federal agents.

WITNESS: We heard from a DEA agents who talked to one of my clients who was at the scene there were 18 targets they were going to hit.

REPORTER: The DEA won’t confirm any details and Hyatt’s only heard of 4 raids so far. He says that one happened at Seattle Cross.

WITNESS: To see it closed and see the little sticky saying DEA is not a good sign.

REPORTER: It surprised medical marijuana patient, Lief O’leary, and neighbors Josh Little and Sara Silverstone.

SARA SILVERSTONE: There were DEA agents raiding…

LIEF O’LEARY: …unmarked vehicles and some people…

REPORTER: They say they witnessed it around noon.

JOSH LITTLE: You can’t tell me that there isn’t bigger fish to fry especially now that recreational marijuana is legal. It’s just, to me, inconceivable that this is still happening.

REPORTER: While voters in the state said yes to legalizing marijuana last Fall the federal government still says no.

Raids like this could be just the beginning of the bad news for dispensaries.

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DEAN BECKER: Reluctantly, this is a Drug Truth Network Editorial.

Those whose actions imperial our nation and our democracy with the way they position themselves around the policy of drug prohibition surely they must feel some guilt over the fact that their habits destroy families, cities and even whole nations.

No doubt they never think about the harms they inflict via their addiction. Because of their habits the Taliban makes more than 100 million dollars a year by simply growing flowers and turning that juice into heroin.

These paranoid freaks never consider that the reason that tens of thousands are brutily killed in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala must be laid at their feet. Because of their actions more than 30,000 violent U.S. gangs have sprung to life selling contaminated drugs to our children and making tens of billions of dollars each year.

Many of these U.S. gangs are now in bed with the cartels and terrorists. These ignorant, immoral and selfish addicts must be brought to heel to feel the pain they cause with their addiction.

The addicts I speak of are legislators, prosecutors, police chiefs and every swinging dick that thinks an eternal war on the people of earth is a good idea.

Prohibido istac evilesco!

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For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at the Pacifica Studios of KPFT, Houston.

Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org